Art Callaham: The election's over, so how did I do?

November 18, 2012|By ART CALLAHAM

Congratulations to all of the general election winners, and my condolences to those who came up short. I promised a “scorecard” on my votes and the predictions I made concerning this past election cycle.

I’ll probably add a little commentary along the way. What else would you expect? Not sure that I have “Hall of Fame” numbers, but it is what it is.

Starting at the top of the ballot, I choose Mitt Romney during the primary election season as the Republican Party’s nominee; however, I predicted Gov. Rick Perry as Romney’s running mate, so I’m .500 in the Republican presidential primary season.

The primary season felt like the 162-game schedule played in Major League Baseball. It’s a long season, yet only the World Series, like the general election, really counted. As for my lofty average in the Presidential primary race, I’d like to ask Miguel Cabrera how much his “Triple Crown” regular season numbers helped him and the Tigers in the World Series.

I also predicted, in the primaries, victories for Roscoe Bartlett, Ben Cardin and Dan Bongino. l was wrong on Rob Garagiola.  Cardin was a “no brainer,” but I never saw Garagiola’s problems coming. I’m still convinced that Garagiola would have been better for our county than the eventual winner, John Delaney. Even if Garagiola had won the primary battle, I would still have voted for Bartlett in the general election. Now, Delaney will have to prove himself to everyone living outside of Montgomery County, and I hope he will.

In the city primary election, I expected all the incumbents to win renomination and they did (incumbent Councilman Forrest Easton ultimately dropped out before the general election and unaffiliated council candidate Ashley Haywood did not have to compete). I can’t recall if I made any predictions in the Democratic primary for mayor. Even at that time, I didn’t feel anyone could beat Bob Bruchey. So, all in all, I wasn’t doing too poorly during the primaries.

In the general election, I was shut out in the presidential race. Obama won and I’ll have to get over it. But please allow me one last comment. A national news pundit commented before the election that there was a clear choice available to voters. 

Obama proposed the continuation of a large central government role in providing for the needs of citizens. The “wealthy” would pay a little bit more to fund this continuing government role.

Romney proposed a restructuring of the central government’s role in providing for the needs of citizens, pushing where appropriate the satisfaction of needs to the states and the private sector. “Everyone” would pay some in this effort.

America has spoken. Obama won, so look for bigger government and more government programs. Hope with me that he can make it work. As far as hope is concerned, I would have said the same thing if Romney had been elected.

In the 6th District race, I predicted a Bartlett victory. My theory was that Bartlett held to the conservative values of many of us who live in Western Maryland and those values would be the keystones in his victory. Therefore, I was totally disappointed that he did not even carry Washington County, where Republicans hold a substantial margin over Democrats in voter registration.

For conservatives, Nov. 6 was a sad day. It might be a long time before Washington County and Western Maryland have a conservative voice in Washington.

In the city’s general election, I missed the mark on mayor and went three for five on council winners.

When it comes to vision and progress, the jury will be out for a while on the new mayor. I wish David Gysberts well and will withhold my opinions about him until he is battle-tested.

As for the new council, I’m not sure three for five will be good enough. In this case, I hope I’m wrong.

In the School Board election, I only picked two and both won. Like with City Council, I hope those two and their leadership skills are enough. We have a great public school system in our community. Let’s all hope we keep it that way.

I’ll have more on ballot questions in a later column. Regardless of whom you or I picked, the sun came up on Nov. 7, and I expect it will keep doing that for many years to come.

Art Callaham is a community activist and president of the Washington County Free Library Board of Trustees.

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